Tony Mowbray insists his side head to AFC Bournemouth this weekend in the perfect place.
Mowbray's men came through an unbeaten pre-season from their three away day outings as well as earning victory in the home Carabao Cup first round tie against Doncaster Rovers.
This weekend sees the real stuff begin, with a tough test down on the south coast against a Bournemouth side who were relegated from the Premier League at the end of last season after five years in the top flight.
Rovers will head south with a fully fit squad aside from attacking pair Bradley Dack and Sam Gallagher, with injuries ruling the duo out of contention.
“When you think of Dack and Gallagher not being ready, they’re two key players for us who would be influencing out starting XI," Mowbray began when discussing his team options to iFollow Rovers ahead of the trip.
“The lads have trained really well during this period, a short pre-season. They’ve applied themselves really well in the games and the training sessions and have worked extremely hard to give themselves the best chance to be right at it.
“I felt as if we looked stronger as the game went on in our last friendly against Leicester, and I’m hoping that will be the case for us this weekend," the boss added.
“Of course, with a squad that doesn’t have the depth, it’s difficult to keep asking the same players to produce the same workload every game, and that will be the challenge for us as the season progresses.
“I’m hoping that we can start strong in what will be a tricky beginning to the season with Bournemouth away, Derby away early on, those sort of fixtures.
“They’re not easy games but I believe that we’re in a good place at the moment, the players all have a smile on their faces and we’re looking forward to the season getting started."